As of Wednesday, retail stores in Abu Dhabi began implementing a ban on the use of disposable plastic bags.
The ban on the use of disposable plastic bags was announced in April last year, as part of the implementation of the integrated policy for disposable plastic launched by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency – Abu Dhabi in 2020.
Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environmental Protection Agency – Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Business Center, Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Director of the Monitoring and Inspection Department of the Department of Economic Development, and Dr. Maryam Hareb Al Suwaidi, Acting Deputy Director-General for Operational Affairs, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Safety Authority. The Food Bank conducted a tour of a number of major retail outlets in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to verify their compliance with the ban on the use of disposable plastic bags.
The tour included four retail outlets: Lulu, Al Mushrif Mall, Spinneys, Al Muroor Street, Carrefour, Airport Street and Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, Al Muroor Street.
The retail stores offered recyclable bags for a nominal fee to allow customers to recycle them as needed and encourage them to take a positive attitude towards the environment by avoiding the use of disposable plastic bags.
During the tour, Dr. Sheikha Al Dhaheri: Today is an important day in the history of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as we implement the ban on the use of disposable plastic bags within the framework of the one-time use policy. plastic.
She added: “Today we are pleased to see the major retailers in Abu Dhabi commit to implementing the ban by offering alternatives to environmentally friendly disposable plastic bags. These positive and proactive changes from the retailers will allow us to achieve our aims to promote sustainable living for all residents of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
And she continued: The government’s goal with the one-time plastic policy is to provide a more sustainable lifestyle for citizens, residents and visitors of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
She continued: “We understand that change takes time and we believe that society can take positive steps towards using recyclable bags as a step that contributes to providing a healthy environment for all in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”
Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Business Center, affiliated with the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, said: We are proud to participate in this important initiative with the Environmental Protection Agency – Abu Dhabi, as it reflects Abu Dhabi’s vision of sustainability, and “Abu Dhabi Economy” is committed to ensuring appropriate conditions for doing business and protecting consumers. Particularly in terms of their safety and environmental protection, the proactive approach of major retailers to support the implementation of one-off plastics policies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reflects these institutions’ high awareness of environmental issues and their desire to make positive changes in line with Abu Dhabi’s strategic goals.
Dr. Maryam Hareb Al-Suwaidi said for her part: We are proud to participate in this initiative and start implementing the ban on the use of disposable plastic bags and replace them with biodegradable plastic bags, and we will work in collaboration with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to inform society on the dangers of non-biodegradable plastic bags and their environmentally friendly alternatives and raise awareness of society’s use of rational and sustainable consumption of our natural resources by reducing the negative effects of non-biodegradable plastic bags on human health, other living organisms and the environment.
She added: “We urge shop owners and retailers to comply with the ban on the use of disposable plastic bags, and we encourage them to positively interact with alternatives to disposable plastic bags,” noting that plastic bags are made from non-renewable sources and contribute significantly to climate change, soil and water pollution.
Al Suwaidi explained that Abu Dhabi has a prominent global position in the field of environmental sustainability, and this initiative will strengthen this position and help reduce the impact of individuals on the environment, adopt sustainable alternatives and eliminate excessive consumption of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
To ensure the successful implementation of this ban, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi will conduct a large-scale awareness-raising campaign to encourage community members to play a role in protecting the environment and informing them of the available single-use alternatives. plastic bags.
The authority works closely with all relevant authorities from the government and the private sector to ensure that it succeeds in banning disposable plastic bags, as the recent period has witnessed the participation of many affected authorities in the application, which will contribute to the entry into force of the ban.
The authority will continue to work with larger retailers and smaller grocery stores to increase their awareness of the negative effects of disposable plastic bags and encourage them to offer alternatives for a small fee.
The authority is also currently working on developing measures to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic materials and increase the efficiency of the consumption of around 16 disposable plastic products by 2024.
Over the past week, a group of senior executives from major retail companies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi signed a voluntary declaration in which they pledged to support the implementation of the one-time plastic policy in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, launched by the Authority in March 2020. and its legislation to ensure the cleanliness of the emirate’s marine and terrestrial environment. Among the disposable plastic waste .. The signatories included the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society and Spar, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Choithrams, Spence and Waitrose.